Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Using a Workout Log


Go to any big box gym any time of any day and you’ll see only a handful of people using a training/workout log. If you want to learn anything about fitness watch the people using a log. Go to any hardcore gym any time of day and you’ll see everyone using a log!

Detailed training logs distinguish serious members from beginners.  You spend an hour of your time in the gym to improve yourself. Right? You want to get stronger or bigger, or faster or leaner. Please explain to me how you plan to do that without a training log!

Do you play golf without keeping a score card? Do you watch your favorite football team and never look at the scoreboard or their won-loss record? Do you think any successful athlete doesn’t know their statistics in minute detail?

You want progress in your goals. (I’m assuming have some goals and actually want to accomplish those goals). How do you plan to do that without knowing where you’ve been and where you are now?

Keeping a training log pays dividends. Everyone can do it. And it’s cheap.

If you don’t want to keep a log I can almost guarantee you will fail in your goals. Your progress will be minimal at best. And the odds are that one year from now you’ll still be flailing around doing the same exercises, with near the same weight, sets and reps with little to show for a year’s worth of work.

If you don’t want to end the year with little to nothing to show for it here’s all you need to do:

1.       Write out your program for each workout including:
a.       Date
b.      Exercises for that workout
c.       Set/Rep goal for each exercise
d.      Actual sets/Reps
e.      Rest intervals between sets
f.        Weight goal for each exercise
g.       Actual weight
h.      (Optional)-Lifting tempo
i.         (Optional-but highly recommended)- Notes on difficulty, problem areas (sore shoulder? Catching a cold? Hung-over?)

Mine are done on an Excel spreadsheet. (EMAIL ME IF YOU’D LIKE A BLANK COPY) I can usually get two or three day’s workouts on a single sheet of paper. I carry a small pencil (like those provided with your golf scorecard). I only wear workout clothes with at least one pocket to carry my pencil and log. Record actual sets/rep/weight after each exercise.

I usually record mine on another spreadsheet where I see a month or more of progress in one place but putting the sheet on in a binder works too. Whatever allows you to look back over a period of time and determine progress (or lack of progress) works just fine.


SEND YOU QUESTIONS TO  If I don’t have an answer I’ll find someone who does.

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